E-commerce in Germany
New challenges await the successful country.
Germany is at the forefront of e-commerce. The country’s e-commerce market is well developed compared to the rest of Europe. In addition, the proportion of internet users is as high as 96%, which is reflected in the Germans’ high level of e-commerce. In the survey, 94 percent of Germans state that they have shopped online.
Germany also seems to have received a boost from Brexit. Germany, along with the UK, is one of the most popular countries to shop online from. With trade from the UK made more difficult by its withdrawal from the EU, more consumers seem to be looking to Germany instead.
Click-and-collect not popular in Germany
Click-and-collect – ordering online and picking up in store – has grown rapidly in Europe in recent times. The concept has become a hot trend in France and the UK, for example, but in Germany it has not been as successful. One possible reason for the lower popularity is that relatively few German e-retailers have introduced the service. It is possible that click-and-collect and other delivery options will become more widespread as more companies start to launch these services.
Impact of the coronavirus pandemic
The German e-commerce market has exploded in recent years, and during the pandemic, online shopping has become particularly popular. However, the large volume of parcels in circulation has presented some logistical challenges. The logistics company DHL has decided to expand its distribution center in the town of Aschheim. The distribution center will be the largest in Germany. The new facility will sort up to 72,000 parcels per hour. The center is due to be completed next year and is expected to create 500 new jobs.
May be affected by new VAT rules
A dark cloud is hanging over German e-retailers due to the EU introducing new VAT rules over the summer. The main difference compared to previously is that VAT is now payable in the country in which the con- sumer is located, rather than in the country in which the business that sold the product operates. Germany’s VAT rate of 19% is lower than that of most other EU countries. The new VAT rules therefore mean less competitive conditions for German e-retailers.
Source: E-commerce in Europe 2021